Title: In Which Draco Secretly Has a Happy Christmas (But He’d Never Admit It)
Summary: This year, Professors Potter and Malfoy have been saddled with the responsibility of twenty-six students over the winter hols. While Harry tries to brighten up the place with perhaps unwanted Christmas cheer, Draco struggles to deal with his recent divorce, lingering insecurities, and Potter’s wonderfully stubborn charm.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): A well-loved trope known as “Secret Santa.” Divorce. Also, there’s a bit (a hell of a lot) of schmoop. And explicit sex? I dunno, I’ve lost my ability to judge.
Epilogue compliant? As of 2010, I have estimated that Harry would have had his second son and Draco would have had his first, but no babies have been born since! (Poor Lily Luna does not exist, sorry!) This story takes place in “real-time” as if our boys’ time-lines actually existed. ;P
Word Count: ~8,000
Author's Notes: Treacle, you are wonderful, and deserved an equally wonderful story. I hope this lives up to your expectations. I did “go for my life” with your prompts, which elongated the fic greatly. Please forgive me for the extra 3,000 words – Draco and Harry needed a bit longer to warm up to each other. Hugs and kisses to my betas, D & A, who were entirely unhelpful when choosing a title, but retained their splendiforocity anyway, and heaps of thanks to the Magnificent Mods of HD_Holidays!
“No. No, no, no – you see, I have plans for this Christmas – ”
“You do not, Draco. You hate visiting your family and Astoria’s taking your son to Sweden to visit her family.”
Draco threw a glare over his shoulder at the petite witch in the corner nearest Headmistress Concordia Cobblestone’s portrait. Professor Sinistra had absolutely no tact, but Draco had to admit he was less offended by her inappropriate comment about his family affairs than Headmistress McGonagall’s assumption that he would want to spend a whole month – a whole, fucking, carol-y, bells-and-baubles-y, mistletoe-y, frosty-y –
“Professor Potter has volunteered to assist you in chaperoning the twenty-six students who will be staying at Hogwarts for the winter holidays.”
“Of course he has, the bleeding heart,” Draco muttered snidely, crossing his arms and knowing beyond a doubt that the other teachers had met beforehand and discussed Draco’s probable dissension.
Potter’s jaw tightened before he said, unnecessarily, “Malfoy, I’m right here.”
Draco shot around in his chair. “And I’m doing my best to ignore that fact!”
“Professor Malfoy, your behaviour this morning is worse than it was when you were eleven,” McGonagall snapped, gathering the several rolls of parchment sprawled across the ornate desk and spelling them into a neat pile, before pointing a finger at his person. “Act your age.”
“Are you going to fire me, if I don’t?” Draco drawled.
McGonagall smiled then, her eyes crinkling. “I wouldn’t dare give you a reason to say, ‘I told you so.’”
Roderick Lowell, the Arithmancy teacher of several years now, sighed and looked around at the others before sneering at him from across the office. “Malfoy, we all know your family’s inbreeding puts you at a disadvantage when using your brain, but do us all a favour and say yes so those of us who have real work to do can make it to our first classes on time.”
“You’re my second-cousin, Roderick,” Draco sighed.
Roderick grumbled, but McGonagall stayed silent, staring Draco down with those stern eyes behind those sterner bifocals.
Draco stared back.
McGonagall narrowed her eyes, in that way that she often did, that brooked no argument whatsoever unless one wanted a sound thwacking about the head with the nearest blunt object.
“Fine!” Draco groaned dramatically, holding out the vowel as the others shook their heads and muttered such things like “Finally!” and “Was about to strangle him, I was!”
“Good,” the Headmistress said shortly, and handed him a parchment, which, at the top read ‘Students Registered for Hogwarts Holiday Housing.’
Draco stood slowly and after shooting a sneer in Potter’s direction, swept out of the office, his charcoal robes billowing behind him in a fashion worthy of a certain former Headmaster of Hogwarts.
He didn’t get far, though.
“Mal – oh, for Christ’s – Malfoy!”
Draco threw up his hands and turned around. “Merlin, Potter, can’t you let a poor man get a good momentum before your ruin everything?”
Potter caught up to him before they reached the main atrium, huffing a bit (as Draco’s legs were most certainly longer than his and therefore much more of a challenge to keep up with). “I wanted to talk to you about the holidays.”
“I wanted a pony for my tenth birthday, Potter, but we can’t have everything.”
Potter rolled his eyes, folding his arms across his chest, before actually considering Draco’s response. “Really?” Potter’s exasperated frown morphed into something resembling a grin before Draco cut him off.
“Just get on with it!”
Potter blinked. “Right. Ehm, I was thinking we could give the kids something to do over the holidays so they don’t feel too lonely. I remember staying here over Christmas without anything to do.”
“I’ve read your biography, Potter, you had plenty to do over the holidays.”
“When I wasn’t focused on Voldemort – ”
A twinge went up Draco’s spine, and he stiffened, face carefully blank.
“Sorry. I forget sometimes,” Harry mumbled, scratching the back of his head self-consciously.
“Anyway, I thought we could do something to lighten the mood this year.”
“This year? This year, Potter, I want to lock myself in my chambers and get incredibly sloshed while listening to Celestina Warbeck’s Christmas hits.”
“Well, I...” He seemed to give up on some idea, pinching the bridge of his nose under his glasses and muttering something incomprehensible before saying, “Look. It’s been a year since you and Astoria finalized your divorce. I thought, since you weren’t going to see Scorpius this year that…”
“That what? What was going through your head, Potter? What were you thinking?”
“I was thinking,” Potter ground out, “that we’d do something like a scavenger hunt or a Secret Santa to promote inter-House friendships and nip any preconceived mischief in the bud.” He shrugged. “To make it easier on us.”
Despite himself and the many words that often came out of Potter’s mouth that he could not for the life of him comprehend, Draco was intrigued. “Secret Santa?”
Potter nodded, tapping his lips thrice with an ink-stained finger. “That sounded the easiest to me, too. Luckily we have an even number so it shouldn’t complicate things. Would you like to be included in the Secret Santa, too?”
“Uhm,” Draco offered.
“You don’t have to,” Potter said unnecessarily. “It was just a thought. Anyway, I’ll draw up plans and rules and we can discuss them later after your double-class with the Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors.”
“Wait, how do you know…?”
“See you later, Malfoy.”
And he was gone.
And, unfortunately, so was the staircase that would take him down to the second floor.
“Damn it all and a side of erumpent dung,” Draco grumbled. Well, at least being Charms professor had its perks – including not having to give excuses for being horrendously late.
Potter assaulted him that afternoon, not with thinly veiled jabs about Draco’s “prattish,” “poncey,” or, oddly, “pumpernickel-brained” ways, or even the Slytherin Quidditch team’s recent loss, but with incredibly involved diagrams of Secret-Santa-Scavenger-Hunt-ish proportions.
“I thought we’d decided on those Santy Secrets,” Draco began confusedly, shutting his grade book slowly and tucking it back into the appropriate desk drawer.
“Secret Santas, and yes, we did. But I thought it would be fun to make those getting the presents work for them.”
“I feel like it could be some obscure form of sadism to make children crawl all over the castle to find gifts. Specific gifts. For them. At Christmas.”
Potter smiled. “More time for us.”
“For us.” Draco quirked an eyebrow.
Potter’s smile dropped off his face like it had been pulled by an enormous weight.
“What?” Draco spread his fingers across his chest in mock offense. “Is the thought of my company that awful?”
“Considering the way we regress into middle childhood whenever we get into arguments, does it really surprise you that your company is just a tad undesirable to me?”
“Shut up, Potter. I’m as desirable as they come.”
Strangely, Potter did shut up and, instead of glaring or doing anything relatively Potterish, he placed an obnoxiously red folder in front of Draco’s steepled fingers and swept out the door. His robes, although obviously stupid because anything Potter wore was stupid, clung to his arse as he exited.
“Fuckity fuck,” said Draco, and resolved silently to never ever think about Potter’s arse in anything again. “Shit!” Shaking his head, Draco gritted his teeth and turned his attention to the red folder, opening it to distract himself.
Tinsel exploded out of the folder and flew everywhere.
He could hear laughter all the way down the corridor.
Instead of planning his next lessons, he decided a good prank was in order. Perhaps while Potter was teaching a class…?
Potter and Draco agreed not to do the scavenger hunt on the first day of the holidays, coincidentally five minutes before they were to announce their plans to the twenty-six students, especially with the seven Slytherins (who were cunning by nature) and seven Ravenclaws (who could, surprisingly, almost match the Slytherins in ruthlessness and mischievousness). The six Gryffindors would rather pull pranks, and the six poor Hufflepuffs would probably end up bearing the brunt of it all, so…
“Yeah, it’s not going to work. Seeing their names on paper is different than seeing their devious faces in person,” Potter muttered under his breath, conjuring a bowler hat and slapping on a bright smile.
Draco grimaced, folding his arms.
“Good afternoon! I hope your first day of vacation is going spectacularly!”
Draco swore he could almost hear crickets. A sixth year in the back of the group coughed.
“Well,” Potter muttered, glancing at Draco before smiling again. “We do have a few rules and activities to announce before we send you on your ways – Professor Malfoy?”
“What? Oh!” Draco stepped up. “We are required to tell you that, as always, the Forbidden Forest is – what do you know – forbidden to students at all times, not excluding the holidays. If there is any misconduct whatsoever, there will be detention. Professor Hagrid needs help with his brooding Pockerjabs this winter, and let me tell you they are cute but smell of wet socks. I will not hesitate to send any of you to his hut if you put a toe out of line. And believe me, you’ll want to smell wet socks for a month instead of attending my detentions if I hear of any misconduct –”
“I think they get it,” Potter hissed.
Draco sucked in a breath of air before continuing, “The library is open from ten to ten every day, but the restricted section is off-limits entirely. Madam Pince has taken her holiday to visit relatives in Strasbourg.”
Potter nodded ever so helpfully.
“If those of you third years and up wish to visit Hogsmeade on December eighteenth or January first, there is a sign-up outside my office. Neither I nor Professor Potter will be taking less than five students, so convince your peers to go if you want to get off the grounds.”
“And you will,” Potter interrupted, “because we’ve got a fun activity arranged for you all until Christmas arrives. It’s a Muggle tradition that I thought you all would enjoy. Does anyone know what Secret Santa is?”
A first year Hufflepuff raised a tentative hand.
“Yes, Mister Quincy?” Potter grinned welcomingly.
“Everybody picks names out of a hat and they get presents for the name they drew. But the one gettin’ the presents doesn’t know who’s givin’ them until everyone gets together at the end and gets their final present.”
“Do we have to?” Peter Trent, a fourth year Slytherin exclaimed, arm slung around his girlfriend’s shoulders. “I mean, we’re on holiday. I know I don’t need another assignment just so you have some way of keeping us occupied otherwise.”
Several other students nodded or muttered their agreement, even if a little less rudely.
“Cease with your whining, Trent,” Draco growled. “Another disrespectful word from your mouth and I might just charm it off.”
Trent rolled his eyes but remained silent – he was Slytherin after all, looking out for his own boorish backside was a priority.
“Yes, you do have to,” Potter said. “We’d love for everyone to participate, because then no one is left without. You are not required to buy anything for your Secret Santa, but gifts are a must. You may ask either Professor Malfoy or me if you need suggestions. I will have crafts in my office if you choose to make a present for your Secret Santa.”
Draco had almost muttered something along the lines of “You have bloody arts and crafts in your office?” or “Of course you would have crafts!” but another student spoke up.
“Professor,” a seventh year Ravenclaw shot her hand into the air, an action disturbingly reminiscent of a certain Head Auror Granger, although much more blonde and… possibly more pretentious.
“Miss Goldstein,” Potter responded.
“I think it would be fairer if everyone participated.”
“Whatever do you mean?” Draco narrowed his eyes at the girl, sensing trouble.
“Why, if you and Professor Potter participated, no one could complain, could they? They can’t say you’re doing this to get us out of your hair for the next couple of weeks if you have to do it, too.”
Potter glanced at Draco. Draco watched Louisa Goldstein glance at her Hufflepuff friend, Delilah Jacobson.
Draco rolled his eyes. Ravenclaws tended to assume, since they were so incredibly clever, that no one in twelve millennia could discover that they were up to something.
“If that would encourage more enthusiasm, then of course Professor Malfoy and I will put our names in the hat, along with everyone else.”
Draco jabbed Potter with an elbow.
Potter just chortled as the students each began writing their names on a scrap of parchment and, some eagerly and not so eagerly, dropping them in the silly bowler hat.
“Try not to look too cheery, Malfoy,” he murmured as he brushed past, putting his name in.
Draco imagined that his jaw couldn’t get any tighter unless it had been spelled shut.
So far the holidays hadn’t proved too complicated for Draco other than a homesick second year, a surprisingly mild kerfuffle between the Gryffindors and Slytherins over pick-up Quidditch, and Peeve’s increasingly creative attempts to chase Moaning Myrtle clear around the castle every fifth hour. And that seventh year couple who had thought it’d be a clever idea to fornicate on the Transfiguration professor’s desk last Wednesday. And whoever had been spelling mistletoe in the doorway of every high-traffic hallway, which Potter had unhelpfully noted promoted somewhat of a (very twisted) camaraderie across houses.
Who was he kidding? The past four days had been more hellish than he had anticipated. And he had anticipated pandemonium. At least he hadn’t had to chaperone the Hogsmeade trip yesterday or he’d have had an aneurism. Or exploded or something. Something would have happened that was definitely detrimental to his health, in any case.
So on Sunday afternoon Draco found himself trudging across the grounds over fresh snow, breathing in the crisp air and squinting in the bright sun. The cool air relieved a bit of the ache that had taken residence at the base of his skull, and Draco was reminded of Astoria’s tea and honey on cold nights after work. That was before he’d been hired as Head of Slytherin and replacement for Flitwick after his passing. That was before Scorpius’ first birthday, three years ago.
Merlin, he missed his little boy.
Draco came up over a hill and stopped, wrapping his scarf more tightly about his neck as a gust of frosty wind ruffled his hair, chilling him to the bone.
He spotted a sizeable group of children simulating complete carnage at the foot of the hill, pelting each other with projectiles of white powder with shrieks of laughter as Potter, the idiot, watched on from the sidelines.
When Draco joined Potter at the bottom, he decided he needed some sort of greeting even if it was stating the obvious. “Fuck all, it’s cold.”
“As a witch’s tit,” Potter supplied, turning around from his spot sprawled over a purple blanket as he supervised the snowball fight. “Have a seat, the blanket’s charmed to heat.”
“Shockingly inventive of you, Professor Potter.”
“Yes, well, I seem to be better off than you at the moment, at least, Professor Malfoy. Did you forget that robes could be enchanted to warm, too?”
Draco sniffed. “I needed the fresh air.”
“Ah,” Potter said. “Almost as much as you needed a head cold, apparently.”
“Oh, stuff it,” Draco muttered, gracefully arranging himself on a corner of the blanket before spotting the large book in Potter’s lap, an eagle feather quill resting in the fold of the pages. “Light reading?”
“Reading up on the history of wards, actually. My seventh years are learning how to cast them upon their return in January. Thought I’d give them a bit more context than what’s been in the curriculum in the past.”
Draco frowned, shaking his head. “You’re a much better teacher than I thought.”
“Did you think I just stormed in each class and made shit up?”
“Seems like you,” Draco guffawed.
Harry rolled his eyes, looking away at several fifth years who were each dumping snow down their friends’ robes. “Do you really give me that little credit?” he muttered, plucking his quill from the pages and picking up where he’d left off in his reading.
Draco swallowed his last giggle, spotting a hint of disappointment on Potter’s face. He sighed, for once wishing that his first instincts weren’t to insult anyone who… came too close.
Potter scribbled something furiously in the margin of the book, his face tight, until the quill pierced through the parchment and the nib broke. Potter swore quietly before turning to Draco again. “Honestly, though. I think you of all people would know that it’s important to learn the reasoning behind something before you go off and start – ”
“Potter,” Draco hissed, face hot with the sudden hurt that bloomed in his chest.
“Sorry,” Potter gusted out, Vanishing the broken quill and flopping down against the blanket. “You’re just so damn frustrating.”
Draco took a breath, fingering the knitted stripes of his Slytherin scarf. “Likewise,” he growled. He looked at Potter after a moment, noticing the maroon jumper that clung to his chest, exposed when his winter robes fell open. For all that irritatingly Gryffindor behaviour, Potter was one fine specimen of a wizard.
“What are you looking at?”
Draco blinked and directed his gaze to Potter’s face. “I couldn’t take my eyes off that hideous piece of fabric you call a jumper.”
Potter shook his head, glancing away for a moment as Misses Goldstein and Jacobson collapsed in giggles not five feet away. They sat down and brought out their knitting, apparently oblivious to the tense state of their professors close by. Potter sat up again and turned to Draco, apparently forgetting the last several minutes of conversation. “Looks like I’ll need a new quill,” he offered.
“Yes, indeed. Did you hear Quick Quotes came out with a new one?”
“Yeah, it’s gorgeous! Comes in new colours, too.”
“I should like one in forest green, I think.”
“Quelle surprise,” Potter said.
Yesterday, Draco had received a neatly wrapped parcel in shiny bronze paper, in which rested a brand new Quick Quotes Quill, Write Right™ in a glossy, deep green.
It was so dreadfully Gryffindor that Draco had to have a laugh about it, but it hadn’t stopped him from using it for the afternoon while he caught up on the rest of his grading and responded to letters from his mother and Aunt Andromeda. He’d thought of writing to Astoria, asking her for at least some news, for a story about Scorpius, how he was faring with the time difference in Dalarna, or how his first semester of Wee Wizard School had gone.
He’d made a draft with the quill, and found that even Quick Quotes couldn’t erase nerves from the page. The handwriting was undeniably his, but it was shaky and hesitant.
He’d thrown the draft away immediately.
Today, though, Draco woke slowly, ten days into the winter hols and two days into the Secret Santa Extravaganza, stretching lazily and rubbing fists into his heavy eyes before sitting up and –
– promptly slamming his head into what looked like a present. Well, it was a present; it just wasn’t doing what presents normally do, instead bumping not so softly or patiently against his forehead.
The box was wrapped in silver paper with a silly turquoise ribbon that began to dance as soon as he plucked the floating present out of the air and unwrapped it. Inside was a box of Honeyduke’s best: Chocolate Cauldrons, Cinnamon Serpents, Fizzy Fruitbats and his favourites, Liquorice Wands.
He didn’t remember ever telling anyone about his sweet tooth, but he supposed it was a generic enough gift to give to someone. Not too personal, but bound to flatter, anyway. Honestly, though, if Potter thought he was fooling anyone with his poorly chosen gifts…
Draco chewed on a liquorice wand as he drew a bath. It couldn’t hurt to have one before breakfast, right?
Potter knocked on his door an hour later, just as he’d finished combing his hair back and fastened the last button on his grey vest.
“Morning!” Potter chirped, sprawling over the chaise near the window and resting a bag of Peppermint Humbugs on his stomach.
“To what do I owe the pleasure of your cheerful disposition this morning?” drawled Draco over his half-finished cuppa.
“Oh, just thought we’d walk down to breakfast together. I got a bag of these this morning,” he said, shaking the shimmery bag in the air, “and I hate them. Do you like them?”
“They’re disgusting,” Draco answered, draining the rest of his tea and setting in the sink in the small kitchen off the living room, and retrieved his robes from the coat hanger by the door.
Potter stood, grinning. “Then perhaps I’ll regift them for my Secret Santa.”
Draco glared at him.
Potter chuckled and patted Draco on the back before leading him down to the Great Hall. “What did you give your Secret Santa, today?”
“I charmed a snitch to sing carols on command.”
“Clever!” Potter exclaimed, nodding.
“They should like it, they’re on their House’s team this year.” Draco glanced sideways at Potter. “And you? What did you get for your Santy Secret?”
Potter mimed zipping his lips closed.
“You’re such a cheater!” Draco grumbled, feigning disappointment.
“And you’re less Slytherin than I thought! See, that’s the thing about Secret Santa, Malfoy. It’s a secret,” Potter whispered, breath tickling his ear.
Draco shrugged him off and insulted his glasses.
Thursday proved to be less eventful than the day before, as Draco and Moaning Myrtle had barely been able to successfully trap Peeves in a spare classroom on the fifth floor after hours of Poltergeist-specific warding and (surprisingly) a little help from the newer ghosts. Colin Creevey had patted him on the back, astounding Draco with his acceptance, even though the imprint of his phantom hand gave him icy, clammy chills between his shoulder blades for hours afterward. Draco liked to think he’d made progress with the castle itself, even.
The halls seemed warmer, today, and he hadn’t even known there was a difference until today.
In any case, Draco was in a cheerier mood than usual and found himself strolling down to the first floor, passing by Potter’s office.
The door was wide open, and the muted sounds of a gramophone wafted into the corridor, bells jingling and brass trumpeting jazzy renditions of Muggle carols.
He was ten feet down the hall when he heard a young girl’s giggle, and the answering guffaws of two other voices trying to sound older than they were.
Draco couldn’t help but peek in to see Potter waving his wand about, festive paper snowflakes floating around and bumping into picture frames, bouncing on the desks and chairs, touching the noses of the three first years hanging out around Potter’s welcoming workspace. The girl was cutting a snowflake with Muggle scissors, and the other boys were playing chess in the corner as Potter sat behind his desk, leaning on one of the Defence Against the Dark Arts books. Second year, it looked like.
“Checkmate!” Kolby Fitzgerald yelped in his thick accent, grinning from ear to ear as his best mate, Sam Quincy, grumbled good-naturedly.
“Good show, Mister Quincy, but it seems Fitzgerald will be getting the treacle tart this time,” said Potter.
“Look at this one, Professor,” the girl said, batting a particularly stubborn snowflake away from her ear, her cheeks ruddy from laughter, showing him the delicately cut, blue paper.
“Well, Miss Hope, you’re certainly far more talented than I. But can you cut hippogriffs into your design?”
The Gryffindor grinned at the challenge, picking up a yellow square, this time.
Potter was… Draco swallowed the lump in his throat. Potter was so good at this. How was he so good at this? Draco didn’t have children hovering in his office all hours of the day.
“Afternoon, Professor Malfoy.”
Draco startled, meeting Potter’s eyes. “Ah. Hello, everyone.”
“Hi, Professor Malfoy,” Miss Hope called out, waving her scissors in the air.
“Hullo, Professor,” the boys in the corner said distractedly, putting the chess pieces into a box and returning it to a shelf near the fireplace.
Draco nodded to each in turn and glanced back at Potter. “I was wondering…” Draco trailed off. What was he wondering? “I was wondering if you’d like to accompany me for a walk. Talk about the group plans for New Year’s Eve.”
Potter nodded, smiling, and turned to Miss Hope. “Sara, would it be alright if we continued our competition at another time?”
Sara looked between her professors and smiled widely. “May I take these with me?” She gestured to a stack of construction paper, atop which rested the scissors.
“Of course, bring them back when you’re through with them.”
They trudged through two-day-old snow, wrapped up in their warm winter clothes, and before Draco could get his new Secret Santa ear muffs over his head, Potter had cast a warming spell on his robes and set out in the direction of the lake.
Potter couldn’t wipe the smile off his face since he’d swept from the office.
“I’d be kidding myself if I thought that smile was due to my fantastic company,” Draco muttered. He stuffed his hands into his pockets, skin tingling from the unfamiliar magic of the warming charm.
Potter shook his head. “As wonderful as I do find your fantastic company – no, that’s not it.”
Draco smiled, flattered. “What, then?”
Potter stepped out onto the ice as soon as they reached the shore, hands spread out like he would take off into flight at any moment. “Minerva has allowed me to see my children on Christmas day.”
Draco stopped at the edge. “You’re leaving to see them?”
“Don’t worry,” Potter laughed. He turned and grinned, his face flushed and his eyes almost sparkling. “I’m not leaving you to the dogs.”
“I was just surprised, is all,” said Draco.
“Ginny’s going to drop Jamie and Al off for the afternoon, so they’ll join us for the Christmas dinner. I’d…” Potter’s voice dropped off, and Draco watched bemusedly as a blush rose high on his cheekbones. He took a breath, and huffed out on a nervous laugh, “I’d like for you to meet them. If you don’t mind.”
“Of course.” Draco tried to smile, but it turned out to be more of a grimace. He watched a flock of birds fly overhead. “Hell, I’m jealous. Astoria and Scorpius won’t be returning until the first of February.”
Potter slipped a bit on the ice when he turned around again. “When was the last time you saw him?”
“This past June for my birthday.”
Potter frowned stepping back onto shore, grasping Draco’s elbow and looking at him like he was transparent as glass, like he understood (which Draco supposed he did, completely), and said nothing at all.
He didn’t need to. Instead, he slid a hand behind Draco’s neck, the thumb of his glove sweeping accidentally against the edge of Draco’s jaw.
Draco looked away, and eventually, Harry dropped his hands and tucked them into his own jacket.
Draco let out a breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding.
They continued on their walk in silence.
That night, he dreamt of those same hands, sweeping across his cheeks, cradling him as Harry kissed him deeply.
Christmas Eve was eventful, but cheery, and Draco slipped his Secret Santa, Fabian Cole, a sixth year Gryffindor, his final present before the reveals by way of school owl – depositing the shiny red parcel at breakfast. Inside contained a miniature of a dragon, which flew about the room coughing puffs of smoke and flying in formations to the music Harry had brought out to listen to in the Great Hall. The record, which Draco suspected had been edited by Potter himself, contained both Muggle and Wizarding music, old and modern, and echoed through the hallways all day.
The seventh years had gotten together and organized a scavenger hunt, anyway, and Draco helped his younger Slytherins through their small tasks until lunch when he returned to his chambers for a light nap.
At his door was a blue package, which contained Scrivenshaft’s famous hand-made parchment. It was an impressive gift – surely the most expensive stuff in the store, but Draco was still a bit disappointed.
His spirits rose, however, when Potter invited him to his chambers for a drink after they’d sent everyone off to bed when supper ended.
They talked and drank eggnog until the clock struck eleven, and by then Draco was well on the way to maudlin, wishing that his dreams weren’t the only place he could be happy.
“You want another?” Potter asked, knees cracking as he stood up and collected Draco’s glass, the sides of it milky with the dregs of the delicious drink.
“Yes, thank you, Potter.”
Potter smiled over his shoulder as he poured their glasses at the bar.
Potter handed it back to Draco as he walked smoothly over to his radio on the mantelpiece. The fire lit room filled to the brim with a soft, slow, lonely tune that left Draco feeling more than a little sad and well past tipsy on Potter’s delicious eggnog.
Draco put the glass down and listened, watching mildly as Potter stood at the mantle, quiet, his posture mirroring the blues that floated out of the small speakers.
“Turn it off,” Draco muttered on a breath, and then, louder, “Please turn it off.”
“C’mon.” Potter looked up. “Will you dance with me, Draco?”
“You’re rubbish at dancing.”
“Yes, because you’ve had so many opportunities to see me dance.”
Draco shrugged, standing in spite of his words. “I always suspected you were shit at it.”
Harry just held out his hand. “Seeker’s reflexes, remember? Although I can’t promise not to trod on your toes. I’ve had as much rum as you.”
“Silly Harry thinks he can trick me into a romantic dance.” If he’d been a little less drunk, Draco might not have walked right into his colleague’s embrace, but this was not the case.
“Not so bad, is it?” Harry murmured when he’d got one hand against the small of Draco’s back, and the other cupping his palm like a promise.
Draco rested his head on his shoulder, breathing in Harry’s distinct smell as they swayed from foot to foot in a lazy two-step, and Harry rested his cheek atop Draco’s hair.
The song flowed almost seamlessly into the next, and before he knew it, they’d come to a stop, just leaning against each other in somewhat of an embrace, the notes swimming around their heads, charming and warm like wine.
“How did you like your presents over the last couple of days?” Harry’s voice cut into Draco’s fuzzy contentment.
“I knew it was you,” Draco giggled into Harry’s shoulder.
“Oh, did you know it was me? That’s funny, because I distinctly remember making five gifts for a first-year Gryffindor this past week.”
“What?” Draco leaned back to meet Harry’s amused expression.
“What made you think it was me?”
Draco’s stomach flip-flopped uncomfortably, and he felt his face heating up as his brows knit together. He pushed the disappointment quickly away, but Harry was having none of it.
“What made you think it was me?”
“I don’t know, honestly. Maybe I was just…”
“Hoping,” Draco finished, bidding farewell to any and all dignity that may have been still lurking about his person.
Harry said nothing, just looked.
“Whoever it is has good taste, though,” Draco added with a weak chuckle. “Got me a Quick-Quotes Quill in forest green, and new top-notch parchment from Scrivenshaft’s.”
“I do have a gift for you, Draco. I hope it will be even better than top-notch parchment.”
“You’re mad if you think anything could beat Scrivenshaft’s parchment, Potter.”
“Barking,” Harry retorted. “But honestly, meet me here tomorrow morning at nine.”
“Perfect. Now, another dance?”
Draco noticed this particular song was lighter, a tad quicker, and really if he thought he’d be able to untangle himself from Harry’s embrace, he was kidding himself.
“If you insist,” Draco sighed dramatically.
They swayed back and forth again, Harry leading him around the room in a wonky circle, and Draco found he could look at nothing other than his eyes. Every now and then the fire would catch, glinting on his spectacles and lighting up the green of his pupils, and honestly – how did he never notice what colour Harry’s eyes were?
The music ended on a long chord, and they slowed to a stop, eyes locked.
“Draco,” Harry said, cocking his head slightly.
Draco looked down between them, sliding his right hand over the soft fabric on Harry’s sloped shoulder, eyes flicking to his lips. “Mm?”
“I’m going to kiss you now.”
“I suppose you can’t be stopped,” Draco husked and leaned down as Harry craned his neck to join lips. It was barely a touch at first, more puffing breaths against each other’s mouths until Harry fitted his lips around Draco’s bottom lip, nipping lightly and setting Draco’s nerves afire. Draco made a sound in his throat that was as much an answer as Harry’s action was a question. And then his fingers glided into Harry’s messy hair, and Harry wrapped his arms more firmly around Draco’s waist, and they were devouring each other. Draco lapped at Harry’s lips like a man dying of thirst and Harry answered in kind, leaning and pushing and pressing up into his embrace just as his tongue met Draco’s.
“Fuck,” Draco gasped when Harry’s mouth found other enjoyable terrain to traverse, planting open-mouthed kisses just under the jut of his jaw up to his ear, teeth scraping across the earlobe. “Fuck.”
He could feel the rumble of Harry’s laughter deep in his chest and all the way down to his groin where, combined with the rum, his new (and ardent) erection was making it incredibly difficult to think clearly. “Have I robbed you of your vocabulary?” Harry whispered in his ear, punctuating his smug glee with a squeeze of his hands over Draco’s arse.
Draco dropped his head on his shoulder, hands fisting in the fabric of Harry’s soft jumper. “I am much drunker than I thought I was.”
Harry paused. “If you wish to stop, just say so.”
“I don’t want to…” Draco moaned, “but I should.”
Harry sucked in a breath. “Yeah, okay.” They backed away from each other, breathing heavily. “Sure.”
“Wait. I would like to…” Draco huffed. “I mean, I wouldn’t mind continuing this at another time, if that’s possible.”
“Where we left off, yeah.” Harry nodded, grimacing as he pressed a hand firmly over the fly of his trousers. “Perfect. That’s a really, really good idea.”
Harry walked him back to his chambers and wished him a Happy Christmas, just after kissing him goodbye.
Draco woke from one of those nights of sleep where one blinks, and several hours have gone by. He threw back a hangover potion before stepping into the shower, trying to wash away the fuzzy feeling of a bit too much drink the night before. He remembered every minute of that evening, thankfully, and every second when he and Potter had kissed.
“Damn,” Draco swore, tilting his hair back into the spray and palming his erection, squeezing his dick once around the base. He hadn’t the time, this morning.
He was meeting Potter at nine, anyway, and then it was Christmas lunch with his students. And the Secret Santa reveals.
Draco wrapped his final present for Mister Cole in some festive, green paper and walked briskly back to Potter’s chambers, trying and failing, several times, to resist the blush that reddened his neck and ears each time he thought about Harry’s lips pressing against his own, dragging over his skin, eyelashes dark against his cheeks as they leaned their foreheads together at Draco’s door.
“Damn, I just said his given name in my head,” Draco whispered as he reached Potter’s hallway.
“Come in!” Potter called out when Draco knocked at his door.
Draco opened the door, dropping Cole’s present on the table near the umbrella stand that looked like a tree trunk and walked into the living room.
The first sight he saw was a spectacular view of Potter’s arse as he knelt in front of the hearth, making a Floo call.
“Well, good morning to you, too,” Draco muttered under his breath and folded his arms.
Potter sat up and grinned over his shoulder. “Hey! Draco, I’ve got someone here to see you.”
Draco felt like his stomach may have joined his heart in his ribcage. “Wh – what?”
“Get over here and wish them a Happy Christmas,” Potter said, waving him over.
Draco flew over to the hearth and knelt beside him, eyes wide. “Scorpius?”
A little head popped into view in the flames, white blonde hair still blinding in the green flames of the call. “Papa!” Scorpius screeched, blue eyes scrunching up with happiness. His hands came into view in the flames, reaching out for Draco. “Are you having a Happy Christmas, Papa?”
He choked back a – extremely dignified – sob and dipped his hand into the flame, cupping his fingers around Scorpius’ round cheek. “Yes, sweetheart. I’m having a fantastic Christmas now I’ve seen you.”
Harry stood with a squeeze to Draco’s shoulder and left them alone.
Draco had barely recovered from his Floo call with his son when it was time to head down to the hall for lunch. He’d talked for a half-hour with Scorpius, just listening to his four-year-old babble about Mormor Astrid and the painted Dala Horses of the Dalarna province, which Scorpius pronounced almost perfectly in Swedish. He was emotionally wrecked but deliriously happy, and spent the five minutes after the call ended in Harry’s arms, practically squeezing the air from his lungs with the force of his bursting affection. Even the two minutes of stilted conversation with Astoria (“And you’re well, of course, Draco?” “I am, thank you, Astoria. And you?”), Daphne leaning over her shoulder, didn’t dampen his mood after Scorpius had walked away to join his Mormor to bake.
“Thank you,” Draco mumbled into Harry’s hair. “Thank you.”
“Let’s go down now, yeah?” Harry whispered.
The reveal occurred just before they sat down to lunch. Just after Draco gave Fabian a book on the history of the Voldemort Wars – a grave text, but one he thought Fabian would devour quickly, as his dream of becoming an Auror was close at hand (he’d sign up for training as soon as 2012 rolled around) – Draco was approached afterward by Delilah Jacobson, and the confusion about his first gift vanished. She handed him a squishy green package, in which lay a dark grey scarf. He wrapped it around his neck immediately, noting the soft yarn and the thin black stripes repeated at random along the length of it.
“You are much sneakier than I originally thought, Miss Jacobson,” Draco drawled, and smiled uneasily as she grinned.
“No one suspects a Hufflepuff, Professor,” said she.
“Perhaps that misconception should be corrected,” Draco muttered, quirking an eyebrow.
“But how would we have any fun, then?”
As Delilah nattered on about the quality of yarn and alpacas and how much she admired him as a teacher, Draco watched Harry hand Sara Hope a lovely snow globe, tapping it with his wand so the snow fell forever over the miniature Hogwarts. Her face lit up and she hugged Harry tightly before running off to show one of her friends. Harry saw Draco and winked before calling everyone to order.
“I hope everyone has received their final present?” Harry asked the room at large.
There were several small cheers, and even some Slytherins clapped.
“Excellent! I think, then, that it’s time for us to sit down to lunch.”
December had finally come to a close on a happy note, the week after Christmas a cheerful and somewhat wistful one. The students were more subdued but friendly to one another. Perhaps Harry’s crazy plan had worked after all. Yesterday, Draco had seen a Hufflepuff and a Slytherin sharing a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans while debating Quidditch.
He felt like he needed to create chaos in order to distract himself from Harry, all day and everyday, and it happened once or twice, but never for long enough.
He’d met James and Albus Severus at five on Christmas day, the two boys running about Harry’s chambers like krups in search of shiny things. But, dinner had been a wonderful, private affair, and when faced with food, the eight- and four-year-olds had calmed somewhat. Well, Al had, but Jamie insisted on interrogating Draco about his favourite superheroes.
Draco had laughed, sharing a long glance with Harry across the table. “Well, your dad has got to be my favourite superhero, James.”
“No, like Vik The Vampire or Wonder Wizard! Dad’s not a superhero; he’s a teacher!”
Jamie had said, rolling his eyes exasperatedly.
“Dad’s my favourite superhero,” Al had mumbled quietly around a mouthful of broccoli.
Draco found himself in much the same place on New Year’s Eve as Christmas night, except he and Harry were alone, sharing a bottle of Bourgogne white wine and roast rosemary chicken with delicious vegetables from the greenhouses and fingerling potatoes.
The students were all eating late dinner down in the kitchens under the supervision of the House Elves, and would be spending rest of New Year’s Eve listening to the countdown on the radio while Harry and Draco, if nothing went terribly wrong, could have some time to themselves. Winky was instructed to inform them if there were problems.
“I never got you a present,” Draco exclaimed after a bite of carrot.
Harry took a sip of his wine and shook his head. “Forgive me for being completely Gryffindor, but I think you were enough of a present for me.”
Draco rolled his eyes but couldn’t help the pleased smile from spreading across his face. “You are disgustingly Gryffindor,” he replied, holding his empty glass out to him.
Harry poured him another and topped his own off, leaning back in his chair and catching a drop of wine on the stem of his glass with his thumb, swiping at it with a pink tongue. “Guess you’ll have to get used to it.”
Draco licked his lips as if he could feel the pad of Harry’s thumb himself. “I think I’ve developed a taste for it already.”
Harry smiled, eyes hooded. “Dessert later?” he asked huskily.
Draco stood and tucked his chair under the table before holding a hand out to Harry.
“No. Dessert now.”
“Good one, Malfoy,” Harry chuckled, but walked him toward his bedroom quickly enough.
“You better call me Draco when I’m fucking you senseless in five minutes,” Draco said, wrapping his arms around Harry from behind before they’d even reached the bedroom.
Draco pressed Harry against the wardrobe as soon as they’d gotten through the door, tongue invading his mouth and hands roaming everywhere until Harry caught up with him and removed his glasses and began to do the same to their clothes.
“Making me do all the work,” Harry gasped when Draco’s teeth scraped over his Adam’s apple, fingers slipping on the buttons of Draco’s fly when Draco slipped his palms under the elastic of Harry’s pants, fingers clenching the soft flesh. “Shit, yeah,” he moaned.
Draco’s trousers pooled around his ankles and he stepped out of them, pulling Harry backwards to the bed and depositing him in the middle of it. “You look edible,” Draco growled, eyes mapping out every imperfection and perfection that made Harry so irresistible. Harry’s dress shirt hung off his shoulders, tangled around his wrists, and his briefs clung low on his waist after Draco had had his hands down them.
Harry blew hair out of his eyes. “Still more food jokes. Is this going to happen the whole time?”
“I might be a bit busier later on, actually, but if the opportunity arises…”
Harry knelt up and grabbed Draco by the waistband of his pants, pulling him with a finger until Draco was sprawled between Harry’s legs, hands sweeping over Harry’s shoulders to remove the black button down entirely. Harry wrapped his arms around Draco’s neck as soon as he was free, and bent his legs, welcoming Draco into his embrace. “What was all that talk about fucking me senseless?” he husked, the shadow of a beard noticeable up close.
Draco kissed him, finally thrusting against Harry’s hard length only two thin layers of fabric away. They moved slowly for a while, hands roaming, tongues tangling, until Harry was releasing pained little moans beneath him, their pants wet with pre-come.
“Fuck,” Draco groaned, reaching down and shoving his briefs down his legs. They scrambled quickly, and Harry noisily searched through his drawer for lube and a condom as Draco kicked his pants off, waiting impatiently.
Soon, though, Harry had his own slick fingers up his arse. Draco watched raptly, squeezing his prick with impatience, until he couldn’t take it anymore. Leaning in, he slipped two fingers of his other hand alongside Harry’s and together they stretched him open with slow strokes, Harry teasing his nipples with a clever tongue all the while. Harry sank down on him, then, and rode him like mad, hands clenching in the duvet on each side of Draco’s head while Draco thrust up into him, hands petting, squeezing Harry’s thighs, thumbs sweeping over the crease where his hipbones jutted.
“Draco, Draco, Draco,” Harry was muttering, keening, and Draco huffed half-words up to him until Harry couldn’t even make noise.
Draco grasped Harry’s neglected cock and pulled only three times before Harry’s eyes became unnaturally focused, a feral grin exposing his upper teeth as the muscles of his arse squeezed around his prick. Draco careened over the edge, his eyes rolling back as he came, hips jerking with the force of his orgasm. Harry followed him quickly, fingers wrapping around Draco’s fist on his cock and pulling a couple more times before he, too, came.
They collapsed onto the bed, gasping breaths of air, breathing in the smell of sex. Harry eventually found Draco’s mouth, tongue meeting his in a lazy post-coital kiss before they both drifted off to sleep.
Draco awoke to a face full of messy dark hair, and remembered quickly (and happily) where he was.
“Harry?” he groaned, pushing the man’s heavy body off of him, feeling sticky and boneless.
“I think we missed the countdown.”
Harry raised his head, “Ah. Well, Happy New Year, then.”
Draco snorted. “And to you as well.”
“Feeling okay?” he asked, summoning his wand and cleaning them up before tucking it under his pillow and snuggling up to Draco.
Draco thought about the past month, and the quick development of this… thing between them, and then the things that they still hadn’t worked out, and the past year. The past year had been tough, but this was certainly a good start to a new one. He told Harry so.
Harry chuckled sleepily, fingers threading through Draco’s chest hair and lips pressing against his temple.
Draco leaned into the kiss, feeling ready for whatever complicated crap the year might bring. “I’m feeling perfect, right now.”
“Dunno if you’ll be saying that this afternoon when you take the students into Hogsmeade,” Harry muttered.
“You shut your mouth or I’ll shut it for you,” Draco growled, grabbing Harry about the waist and nipping at his ear.
“Sounds like a plan,” laughed Harry, swinging a leg over Draco’s waist and finding his lips again.